Reports say that an experienced motorcyclist died in a motorcycle accident near San Diego, California on Highway 78 in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The victim, Dwight Asmus, had always wanted an antique bike with a sidecar, so he bought one about three months ago, but unfortunately it was the sidecar that may have contributed to the 68-year-old’s death. When the wheel of the empty sidecar came off the ground, Asmus tried to maintain control of his motorcycle, but collided with a Chevy pickup that was hauling a horse trailer.
“It just got away from him,” said friend Merlin Bianco. “He was in control, there just wasn’t enough time to make it all happen and clear the trailer.” Another riding buddy also crashed into the wreckage and suffered a dislocated shoulder. He is recovering at Palomar Medical Center. Asmus worked as a slot technician at Harrah’s Rincon casino and enjoyed motorcycles, sail boats and sports cars, said Bianco.
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Asmus had been riding since at least the 1950s and ‘60s, when he worked as a film messenger for a television station in San Francisco and delivered reel from news scenes back to the station on a bike. “He was a gentle man and a genteel man,” Bianco said. “Everybody is feeling a great loss.”
This is an ironic and sad story of a man who loved motorcycling, which led to his untimely demise. The facts aren’t completely clear if Asmus or the Chevy pickup was at fault. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the situation, but so far, no charges have been filed. When a motorcycle meets a car, it’s usually going to end pretty badly for the motorcycle. Here are some statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Motorcycles represent only 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, but motorcyclists accounted for 13% of total traffic fatalities in 2007.
- Per registered vehicle, the fatality rate for both motorcycle drivers and passengers is 5.5 times higher than that for passenger car occupants.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 35 times more likely to die in a car crash than people traveling in passenger cars.
- During 2007, 50% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involved collisions with another type of motor vehicle in transport. Of these two-vehicle crashes, 78% of motorcycles involved were struck from the front. Only 5% were struck from the rear.
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Motorcycle accidents are a specific area of accidents that require expertise and experience. Our lawyers have handled many cases involving bike accidents that result in severe injuries. We will guide you through the process of getting your medical needs taken care of as well repairing or replacing your damaged motorcycle. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, please call our office at 1-877-702-7274 and to speak to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.